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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

R Leonard

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  1. R Leonard

    War in the Caribbean

    Thought so. He was 4 years ahead of my father at Annapolis. Sending you a PM.
  2. R Leonard

    War in the Caribbean

    Richard St. Clair, right?
  3. R Leonard

    Operation Patriot

    Interesting take, but not exactly true. RN, even USN, practice is to use the word "fire" to order the discharge of a weapon . . . goes back a few hundred years, indeed, to the age of wooden ships. "Shoot" is something one tends to hear in movies.
  4. R Leonard

    Mitsubishi Zero Fighter Report

    The manifold pressure gauge from this plane, which can be found in the US Navy Museum at the Washington DC Navy Yard, is clearly marked on the back with the Sopwith logo. My father, who flew this plane five or six times (I'd have to double-check his pilots log book) in late 1944, collected the port wing tip, the aforesaid gauge, and the airspeed indicator from the pile of junk in Hangar 40 at NAS San Diego after the plane had been wrecked in February 1945. We carted that stuff around for the rest of my father's naval career, he retired in 1971 after 33 years commissioned service. He donated the parts to the museum in 1986 - sure wish he had asked me first.
  5. R Leonard

    WMD

    Oh, please. You should first, perhaps, look into who first used chemical weapons in warfare and when. Then, perhaps, you should read up on the international efforts since that usage for armaments control and limitations. Frankly an internet forum is hardly the place to embark on a topic upon which entire college courses are taught. You also might want to learn to discern between a "nuke", a nuclear device, and and an atomic bomb; if you knew your ordnance you would know they are not the same thing. Unless, of course, your purpose is just a feeble anti-American screed. If so, you should say so.
  6. R Leonard

    Regarding the Doolittle Raid

    The event in question occurred on Saturday, 18 April 1942. From the USS Nashville war diary for April 1942 on that date: At dawn the NASHVILLE was steaming in company with aircraft carriers ENTERPRISE and HORNET and cruisers NORTHAMPTON, SALT LAKE CITY, and VINCENNES enroute to a point at which the bombers on the HORNET were to be launched. At 0632 the course was 220 T. and speed was 23 knots. At 0741 an enemy ship was sighted bearing 350 relative at a distance of about 10,000 yards. The following is a chronological record of the engagement: 0744 General Quarters sounded. 0748 Enemy ship bore 201 T. at a range of 9,000 yards. 0752 Received order from Admiral Halsey to attack vessel and sink same. 0753 Opened fire with main battery, firing salvo fire at a range of 9,000 yards 0754 Shifted to rapid fire. 0755 Checked fire, Target could not be seen 0756 Resumed firing. Bombing planes made attack on enemy vessel. They returned the fire of the planes with machine guns and a light cannon. 0757 Enemy headed toward the NASHVILLE. 0801 Bombing planes made another attack on enemy ship. This fire returned by the enemy. 0804 Opened fire. This fire was returned but enemy shells fell short. 0809 Bombing planes made another attack. Changed course to the lest in order to close the enemy. 0814 Increased speed to 25 knots. 0819 commenced firing salvo fire. 0821 steadied on course 095 T. Enemy vessel on fire. 0823 Enemy ship sunk. 0827 Commenced maneuvering to pick up survivors. Attempts to rescue on man sighted proved unsuccessful. 0846 Went to 25 knots to rejoin formation. 1102 Sighted Task Force bearing 235 T. 1153 Resumed station in formation. During this engagement 938 rounds of 6” ammunition were expended due to the difficulty in hitting the small target with the heavy swells that were running and the long range at which fire was opened. This range was used in order to silence the enemy’s radio as soon as possible. The ship sunk was a Japanese patrol boat and was equipped with radio and anti-aircraft machine guns. During the encounter with the craft the Army bombers carried on the HORNET were launched to make their attack on Tokyo. When NASHVILLE rejoined the formation the ships had reversed course and were steaming on course 092 T. at 25 knots. During the afternoon the following action took place: 1409 Went to General Quarters, OTC having ordered this ship to sink two Japanese sampans reported by aircraft. 1411 Sighted ship bearing 350, range 10,700 yards. 1415 Dive bombers made attack on enemy. 1417 Planes made second attack on enemy; their fire was returned by the enemy. 1422 Opened fire with main battery firing salvo fire at a range of 4,500 yards 1424 Checked fire. 1425 Resumed fire. 1427 Checked fire. 1429 Opened fire with 5” battery. 1435 Checked fire. 1439 Opened fire with main battery. 1440 Ceased fire as vessel was sinking. Prepared to pick up survivors. 1446 Enemy vessel sank. Five survivors were seen. These men were all picked up by this ship. All but one were uninjured and suffered only from shock and immersion. 1500 Picked up last survivor and began maneuvering to rescue pilot and passenger of ENTERPRISE plane which crashed in water astern of ship. 1517 Rescued two fliers. 1518 Commenced maneuvering to rejoin formation. The second ship was a patrol craft similar to the first. 65 rounds of 5” ammunition and 102 rounds of main battery ammunition were used in this engagement. End of 18 April 1942 war diary entry So, yes, there were 5 prisoners rescued for the Japanese patrol boat sunk on the afternoon of 18 April 1942. There was an unsuccessful attempt to rescue a single survivor of the patrol boat sunk that morning. USS Nashville was the sole US ship involve, though apparently aircraft from Enterprise were involved in both cases, and one, apparently a little too assiduously and ending up in the water. The Commanding Officer’s (Capt Francis S Craven, USN) action report provides snippets of additional information. With regard to survivors of the morning action: From paragraph 2: “. . . Two survivors were reported in the water but neither could be recovered. The Commanding Officer personally saw only one who apparently was wounded and sank before he could be reached.” And regarding the second patrol boat: From paragraph 3: “. . . At about 1446, just as she sank, we recovered 5 survivors and proceeded to rejoin. From the survivors it was ascertained by the sign language that the original crew had totaled eleven. Presumably the names of the prisoners and also of those lost can be obtained from the survivors by a Japanese interpreter. The other enemy patrol Bessel was not seen but the ENTERPRISE pilot, whom we rescued soon afterward said he had set it on fire and believed he had sunk it. Search for it therefore was abandoned.” Paragraph 12 addressed air attacks during shelling: “12. Diving by planes against a target under gun fire. ENTERPRISE planes were attacking the first vessel and planes from one of the carriers were attacking the second vessel, during the time were firing. This was rendered hazardous by the erratic performance of projectiles which had lost their wind shields, and by very low dives of the planes. Pulling out at greater heights is recommended. Many dives were to within 100 feet of the water or less.” One might note that most of the air attacks were strafing runs made by F4F fighters, hence the rather close quarters. Not that SBDs were not involved, they were, but most of them attacked other Japanese patrol vessels in the area. Paragraphs 13, 14, 15, and 16 specifically address the actual recovery of survivors: “13. Recovery of survivors. The five prisoners taken from the second ship were brought aboard over the forecastle, and this same method was soon afterward used effectively and expeditiously (13 minutes from crash to rescue) in getting aboard two aviators from a crashed plane. For these reasons, and in view of the sea conditions, the following description is considered to be of probable interest. “14. In rescuing the survivors of the patrol vessel, approach was made from up wind. The men were well clustered, and on reaching them the heading was changed slightly to the left, to bring them under the starboard bow which became the lee bow. They were thrown lines, and were brought aboard with these lines and also over a sea ladder comprised of a cargo net one of which is permanently stopped to our lifelines on each side of the forecastle. The ship drifted downwind faster than the men, and so brought them all gradually within reach. One was wounded and another virtually exhausted, yet all were recovered without great difficulty although the ship was rolling heavily. She soon fell off into the trough of the sea, and the actual rescues were effected while lying in the trough. “15. Realizing from this that she usually would fall off into the trough, we did not wait to approach the aviators from up wind but simply brought them under the lee bow while heading along the troughs. Both aviators came aboard over the cargo net. “16. There was some confusion on the forecastle, together with difficulty in locating quickly the proper gear for effecting rescue. While the confusion resulted partly from curiosity to see the survivors, it was a consequence also of the ship’s being still at general quarters, so that normal administrative arrangements on the forecastle were lacking, as were good communications. For these reasons, and since future war-time rescues over the forecastle appear not improbable, a special Rescue Bill is being developed to meet such occurrences. This will be a General Quarters bill, with the Gunnery Officer detailing personnel from the forward turrets or a 5-inch battery and providing battle-telephone communications from a turret. Necessary gear will be made up and stowed in convenient location on the main deck in the vicinity of the 5-inch guns.” Searching about in various files and records at hand, the aircraft which crashed during the firing on the second patrol boat was from VB-6 (6-B-4, b/n # 4603) and was believed to have suffered engine damage from return fire from the second patrol boat. The pilot was LT Lloyd Addison Smith (75066), USN; Smith’s back seat radio/gunner was AMM2c Herman H. Caruthers (223 70 23), USN.
  7. R Leonard

    Denmark in the Vietnam War ?

    Document. Show me an official document. Otherwise it is all posers and conspiracy theory that depends on gullibility. The Australians were well involved in Vietnam and exchanges of personnel between them and other commonwealth nations was not at all unusual, but this does not come close to being seconded to US forces. oh, and the guy in your link? Maybe you should read closer and see where he as born in Raleigh North Carolina USA, joined the army, served his three years and returned home. The article is from 2015 and notes he and his wife now live in Denmark. That hardly makes him a Danish soldier who was shuffled of to Vietnam.
  8. R Leonard

    Denmark in the Vietnam War ?

    What one usually hears is some variation of "I could tell you more, but it is a secret," or "all the documents are sealed," or "the operations I was in were so secret that nothing was ever written down." These should set off thousands of little alarm bells . . . if the event or events were so much of a secret, why is this guy telling you, a total stranger? This is a come-on. Mostly these people are, let me see, what would be a good description, how about "liars." It is a cottage industry. You'd be surprised how many Vietnam veterans were there, if you do the math, when they were 10 years old. Were there foreign nationals is the US Army who served in Vietnam? Why, yes, but not as part of some national trade-off, only as individuals. Rick Rescorla comes to mind, look him up. A single individual joining the US Army after arriving in the US; typical of foreign nationals in US service.
  9. R Leonard

    What was the best fighter plane of WWII?

    in l'Orient???? I find that a bit hard to believe, though always willing to be proved wrong. Do you have some reliable documentation? And exactly which post-war French carrier was built out to finish the project?
  10. Apples and oranges. Two entirely different cultures. Do not make the big, BIG, mistake of ascribing western mores and values to the Japanese in WW2. I have offered no humanitarian thoughts, I merely point out the results of an alternative to the bombs. Absent the atomic bombs, there were two choices, invasion or starvation. You pick and then you convince me that your selection would have a lesser impact in lost lives than the bombs.
  11. R Leonard

    What was the best fighter plane of WWII?

    As a projected aircraft carrier, much less had it ever been competed, Graf Zeppelin as a best a bad joke or at worst just a piece of steel junk.
  12. "my country right or wrong" Did I say that? No, I did not. It is not polite to put words in someone's mouth. And you do so because you do not agree with my historic perspective? Because I don't subscribe to bleatings and beating of breasts over the actions those dirty rotten Americans? Because I do not believe that what one might believe to be a standard today, where the collateral death of a single civilian makes world-wide headlines, in any way, shape, or form, applies to the summer of 1945? Tough toenails. The Japanese were not going to surrender. All the nonsense about their discussions with the Soviets is exactly that, nonsense. The Japanese foreign ministry never, NEVER, gave their ambassador the full authority, nor any real basis for negotiation. How do we know? Because the Americans and the British were reading the mail and had been for the last four years. The Allies knew it was all smoke and mirrors. They also knew the Soviets were just stringing them along. And can anyone guess why the foreign ministry was vague to their own ambassador? Because had they been definitive, and word got out, they would have been dragged out and shot. The Japanese foreign ministry was not running the show. The Army and the Navy were running the government, totally and in an iron grip, and we already know what they were saying . . . "100 million lives for the Emperor!!". Women and teenagers armed with bamboo spears, children trained with satchel charges on their backs to run beneath tanks. Go read some real history and not the bleats of agenda ridden nonsense. Anyone who wants to believe the warm and fuzzy, you go right ahead, but you are banging up against the cold reality of people in charge who had no intention of surrendering absent some cataclysmic event. Between the sea mines sowed by the USN and the USAAF, the roving strikes of fighters and bombers from USN carriers or from USAAF forces on Okinawa, and USN submarines, Japanese commerce, the ability to move goods, especially food, had virtually ground to a halt. Coal shipments from the coal fields in Hokkaido (where, if you bothered to read up on it, most of the Japanese coal industry and all of its oil production were centered) had been brought to a halt by the 14 and 15 Jul 45 carrier air strikes on the coal train ferries and other vessels operating in the area of the Tsugaru Strait between Aomori on Honshu and Hakodate on Hokkaido. Warships sunk over the two days of strikes were not many as most of the IJN was in the waters of the Inland Sea: Tachibana, Destroyer, approx tons 1000; Coast Defense Vessel No 65, Frigate, approx tons 800; Coast Defense Vessel No 74, Frigate, approx tons 800; Coast Defense Vessel No 219, Frigate, approx tons 800; and Minesweeper No 24, Minesweeper, approx tons 630. Total 5 warships, 4030 tons approx displacement. On the other hand, merchant vessels sunk in these strikes were: Hiran Maru, Coal train ferry rated 3459 tons; Matsumae Maru, Coal train ferry rated 3129 tons; Tsugaru Maru, Coal train ferry rated 3484 tons; Seikan Maru No 1, Coal train ferry rated 2326 tons; Seikan Maru No 2, Coal train ferry rated 2493 tons; Seikan Maru No 3, Coal train ferry rated 2787 tons; Seikan Maru No 4, Coal train ferry rated 2903 tons; Seikan Maru No 10, Coal train ferry rated 2900 tons; Shoan Maru, Coal train ferry rated 2900 tons; Awa Maru, Cargo ship rated 1960 tons; Eiho Maru, Cargo ship rated 741 tons; Eireki Maru, Cargo ship rated 6923 tons; Hokoku Maru, Cargo ship rated 1274 tons; Hokuryu Maru No 23, Cargo ship rated 1550 tons; Imizu Maru, Cargo ship rated 986 tons; Nissen Maru No 6, Cargo ship rated 521 tons; Kiodo Maru No 13, Cargo ship rated 1996 tons; Toyu Maru, Cargo ship rated 1256 tons; Unyo Maru No 1, Cargo ship rated 2039 tons; Senzan Maru, Cargo ship rated 1151 tons; Shimosa Maru, Cargo ship rated 887 tons; Shoho Maru, Transport ship rated 3460 tons; Taisei Maru, Cargo ship rated 884 tons; Taka Maru, Cargo ship rated 887 tons; Shoka Maru, Transport ship rated 1931 tons; Hirano Maru, Cargo ship rated 1226 tons; Tokai Maru, Cargo ship rated 3099 tons; Shoho Maru, Cargo ship rated 1327 tons; and Taisho Maru No 1, Cargo ship rated 605 tons. Total: 29 ships, 61,084 tons. Merely listed as damaged were an additional 3 coal train ferries, 1 destroyer, 3 escort destroyers, 4 coast defense vessels, 1 submarine chaser, 3 auxiliary minesweepers, 3 auxiliary submarine chasers, 1 guard boat, and 19 transport/cargo vessels, 2 tankers and 1 harbor dredge. And you could justifiably ask, “No coal? So what? What makes that so important?” Well, first of all, most of Japan gets cold in the winter and, then, cooking for the average Japanese in those days meant coal, so there would be next to none. Then of course, though the US had no crystal ball to predict it, the rice crop failed in 1945, so one might guess that that small factor plus a lack of coal would ultimately mean a large portion of the population having little, with next to nothing, to cook, but no problem, nothing to cook it with. Of course, the already being felt dearth of food stuffs and an almost complete inability to transport what food there was to where it might be needed (except to insure the army got first takes on rations before civilians) would tend to have an unpleasant impact on the population. Sure, starve them out, that would work, probably take about a year. Meanwhile people are dying all over areas still held by the Japanese at a rate of about 30,000 a month. And the Allies could kiss goodbye as well the remaining two thirds of POWs taken by the Japanese over the course of the war who were still alive. There was in fact a direct order that on command all prisoners were to be eliminated and any trace thereof obliterated . . . yes, we knew about that, too. One might suppose that had Fleet Admirals King and Nimitz had their way, absent either the atomic or an invasion, the Japanese would have eventually been starved into submission . . . of course, that means children, old people, and women would be the first to go, slowly, painfully. Not a very happy alternative and certain to produce more deaths than the bombs or, perhaps, even an invasion. One of the fears of the Japanese government was indeed the vision of impending mass starvation causing a popular uprising. And, I’m really sorry to burst your balloon or anyone else’s for that matter, but the bombs, both of them, were indeed to impress that same Japanese government, to convince them that to continue would be tantamount to national total destruction. Unfortunately, it took two to do the job. Had the Japanese wanted to throw in the towel before the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, all they had to do was say so . . . to the people who counted, the ones pointing guns at them. They did not. If they had wanted to end the war after Hiroshima alone, all they had to do was say so. They did not. I am truly sorry that real history annoys you to the point of trying to putting words in the mouth of the messenger. Want some real words from the times? My father was Lieutenant Commander and assistant operations officer on Vice Admiral McCain's staff of the Fast Carrier Task Force operating off the coast of the Japan at the time. He wrote home in serial letters, each covering about a week or so, I have most of them from the entire war, but from this period, some snippets: The entry dated 7 August 1945: "Guess you have been reading about 'the bomb' as everyone else has. It has been quite an interesting and depressing topic for me. All I can say, I can't think of any other people who I would prefer to possess it and no better target upon which it should be used. Just the same, it can be quite a problem for the future. Then again, with the right control it may insure the future. All the same, it's dangerous and I just have my doubts whether we are ready to control such power. Such worries did not trouble the man who invented gunpowder." On the installment for the 8th, he continued: "Lots of news has been coming in about the big bomb, but not much to rely on as to the Jap reaction. They are too unpredictable to depend on even when bopped this hard. Press notice seems to give this bomb quite a bopping factor. Hope it never has to be used again.” On the 10th: “Things have been doing pretty well the last day or so and tonight’s news makes it look as though this war is about in its last hours. The news about the Russians coming into the fight seemed insignificant beside the news about the bomb and then both of them seem insignificant in the light of the news of a possible surrender. It’s too close to see just what effect that is going to have on our immediate movements, but, gosh, it is something and the possibilities leave me excited.” But the war went on. On the 11th: “Busy day as usual. Seems to be much expectation in the air but not much change of plans at this point.” On the 13th: “Looks as though I were dreaming just dreams the other night because we are back in business as usual without a let-up. Today was a pretty active one if you noticed. If these people want to fight, we are just the ones to oblige them. To coin a term I might say they will be obliged by experts.” Bottom line . . . Yes, the bombs, both of them, were necessary, absolutely, no question. The purpose the bombs were to slap the Japanese leadership hard enough that they would pay attention and realize that to continue the contest would mean eventual destruction of their entire country and people. The first one came close to doing the job, but, ultimately, failed. The second bomb got their attention. Those who would believe that the Japanese could be brought to surrender without the atomic bombs or without starving a generation to death are living a dream world just as the Japanese army and navy commanders lived the dream of ultimate victory.
  13. R Leonard

    What was the best fighter plane of WWII?

    Exactly, which in my mind tends to disqualify the Me262 from being the "best" fighter of WW2. Besides, it was not carrier qualified.
  14. R Leonard

    Want to identify WWI medal

    Sharpshooters medal . . . a qualification badge, about as common as ants on sugar in an infantry unit.
  15. R Leonard

    Yangtze Patrol, Sand Pebbles

    You should read the book. In it you'll find an RN machinist type working with Jake Holman on the San Pablo's engine.
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